Non-invasive quantitative detection and applications of non-toxic, S65T-type green fluorescent protein in living plants

Plant J. 1999 May;18(4):455-63. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1999.00464.x.


Green fluorescent protein (GFP) has emerged as a powerful new tool in a variety of organisms. An engineered sGFP(S65T) sequence containing optimized codons of highly expressed eukaryotic proteins has provided up to 100-fold brighter fluorescence signals than the original jellyfish GFP sequence in plant and mammalian cells. It would be useful to establish a non-invasive, quantitative detection system which is optimized for S65T-type GFP, one of the brightest chromophore mutants among the various GFPs. We demonstrate here that highly fluorescent transgenic Arabidopsis can be generated, and the fluorescence intensity of whole plants can be measured under non-disruptive, sterile conditions using a quantitative fluorescent imaging system with blue laser excitation. Homozygous plants can be distinguished from heterozygous plants and fully fertile progenies can be obtained from the analyzed plants. In the case of cultured tobacco cells, GFP-positive cells can be quantitatively distinguished from non-transformed cells under non-selective conditions. This system will be useful in applications such as mutant screening, analysis of whole-body phenomena, including gene silencing and quantitative assessments of colonies from microorganisms to cultured eukaryotic cells. To facilitate the elucidation of protein targeting and organelle biogenesis in planta, we also generated transgenic Arabidopsis that stably express the plastid- or mitochondria-targeted sGFP(S65T). Etioplasts in dark-grown cotyledons and mitochondria in dry seed embryos could be visualized for the first time in transgenic Arabidopsis plants under normal growing conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Primers
  • Genetic Vectors
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Light
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics*
  • Plants, Genetically Modified
  • Plants, Toxic
  • Tobacco / genetics


  • DNA Primers
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins